Identity theft is very prevalent and has been noted as one of the leading crimes in the country. According to reports from the Federal Trade Commission, close to 9 million Americans have become statistics to identity theft crimes. Transactions that you may conduct over the Internet may be subjected to an identity theft attack but did you know that it can also happen to you while you move house?
Most people who move get in the habit of throwing away of their documents before shredding it; others in a rush leave them behind for the landlords and their staff to dispose of for them. When not disposed of properly it becomes quite easy for the one stealing your identity to rummage through your dumped personal items and retrieve information that would help him succeed in his mission. Since these documents usually carry your personal information such as social security number and bank account numbers etc, this puts you at a higher risk for identity theft.
Thankfully there are ways in which you can protect yourself from identity theft before you move to a new house and we have a few ways in which this can be done. Foremost, it would be wise for you to invest in a home office shredder. These shredders usually retail for $40 and upwards but is truly a good investment especially when you consider how much it would save you in the long run. Even as you relocate the documents that you intend to keep, you also need to make sure that they are safely secured so that you would not lose some of these important documents.
One way in which you can secure these documents is to purchase one of those accordion folders where the front folds over and then secured with a string. These folders are available in both paper and plastic materials. If you use the paper file, place the folder in a plastic bag so that it would not be ruin if exposed to liquid. A fire-proof box is also a great place for storing your personal documents as well. Documents such as these should never be loaded on the moving truck. The last thing you need is for the movers to mishandle your document folders which could result in you losing a few documents here and there.
Your best bet would be to transport the items yourself in your vehicle. Or you can leave your items with a relative that you trust who would be able to mail the documents to you as soon as you settle in your new home. However, if you have a lot of documents that are too costly to ship out and you have no choice but to send them with the movers, then you may want to invest in a filing cabinet that features a strong padlock. Even after you move it is very common that some of your mail would go to the old address.
Make sure that you keep an eye on this as some of your most vital correspondence can get rerouted to the old home. Similarly, check with all your utility companies as well as other companies you may have subscribed to just to make sure that all your accounts are closed at the previous address. This is to prevent any reopening of your account under false pretense. Months after you move you should also keep track of your credit report looking out for sudden changes which could be as a result of identity theft. If there is a discrepancy on your report, you should immediately notify the credit bureau who would then attach a fraud alert to your account.
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